Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said on Wednesday that the US State Department’s position on Romania’s justice laws should not worry, insisting that changes in the justice legislation is necessary, and his role is to give an impetus to discussions on this subject.
Toader on Wednesday attended the launch of a book by his Cabinet peer Ilan Laufer, the minister for the business environment.
“We have a good collaboration with the United States Department of State, with all the embassies. The ambassador and embassy represent the interests of a state in Romania, which can be economic, cultural, scientific, university and so on,” the minister told a news conference.
Asked if Romania should worry about the reaction of the US State Department, he replied, “I am convinced that we should not worry, we have complete freedom to legislate as the Constitution asks us, to legislate in line with European and international rules and standards.”
“The fact that an ambassador, a department expresses a certain position does not have to worry us, because we, once again, have the skills, the ability, and the freedom to legislate. We only need to be careful, once again, to make sure we fulfill our mandate within the limits of the rule of law and under our partnerships and collaboration,” added Toader.
He said that the background of the relationship with US ambassador Hans Klemm is good, even if sometimes there were diverging opinions.
“I have taken a public stance on this statement and I was telling you – once again – that the State Department is expressing as allowed to. I have often discussed with the US ambassador. Even if at times we did not totally agree on some issues, even if we sometimes had some emphasis and sent some public messages, the background of the relationship is good collaboration. It does not mean that he does not have the freedom to express an opinion, but if he expresses an opinion, a concern, some worries does not mean that I change my capacity and deviate from what I know I have to do, within the parametres of legal powers and constitutional requirements,” said Toader.
At the same time, he was asked by journalists what he thinks were the articles in the law legislation that worried the Americans.
“I want to say one thing to you: I understand that it is a recent debate that the Department does not have much representation of the content of the communication and that it would have sent the statement to the embassy. Once again, I can express within the limits of public information only,” added Toader.
According to Toader, the procedure for amending the justice legislation was necessary.
He once again pointed out that his role was to generate discussion on this issue.
The minister added that his goal is to improve legislation.
The journalists also asked him for his opinion on the street protests that were asking for his resignation.
“The themes of the protests are combined (…) With respect to the resignation, it certainly is not me to appreciate it. It’s up to the decision-makers, the governing alliance, the prime minister … And if they will come to this belief, I will have no problem with it; the next day when I am no longer a minister, I become the active chancellor of the oldest university in Romania, the first university in modern Romania,” said Toader.